The American Empire and African Americans, by Mike Jones

I am posting somebody else’s article from 2020 because it is that good. Here is my personal take on a stellar article by Mike Jones, with the St. Louis American, who reminds us that American South once had the same apartheid system as South Africa.

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I am posting the following article from 2020 because it is that good. It is flawed and that is OK. The author’s politics shows he is as unaware of the true nature of empire as is everybody else in America —the political parties are a farce. To quote the political writer Rob Urie: “‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives,’ marketing terms for the competing patronage systems posing as ideological difference.” Plus, Joe Biden is literally the architect of the new Jim Crow segregation in America.

Whether or not Donald Trump was a good president is not the issue at hand. As a change agent he was phenomenally effective, in historic proportions. He transformed the way thinking people think about the United States. Unless you got caught up in the media manufactured anti-Trump hysteria, you received an education from him. He taught us that America functions unquestionably like an empire.

In the Trump era we’ve gotten all the evidence that we need to conclude that America is an empire, not a nation. And that this bares recognition and is most harshly relevant right now to our domestic policies.

Today, the U.S. is an empire, one of the most powerful empires in all of history, but refuses to acknowledge the obvious. Foreigners long ago figured this out, while a majority of America’s domestic population has not.

If Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20th, we will return to the policies of empire of George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, once again.

The similarities between modern American imperialism and the old British kind are now too glaring to be ignored. Partly this arises from the fact that so much of the former is taking place in parts of the world, like Ukraine, where the British imperial imprint can still be seen. This becomes quite obvious when you consider former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s “New Europe” policy.

When I wrote this five years ago, I had absolutely no idea how right I was: “Not unlike the American Civil Rights movement, the mass protest movement against racial segregation and discrimination in the southern U.S. that came to national prominence during the mid-1950s, the Maidan Movement has its roots in the centuries-long efforts of Ukrainians . . .”

Donald Rumsfeld's famous division of Europe into new and old was not a slip of the tongue but the catchy expression of a new U.S. strategy to manipulate rivalries within Nato and maintain it as an instrument of U.S. power.

Donald Rumsfeld’s idea was that all the ex-Communist countries of “new Europe” were ardent Atlanticists, in opposition to a declining “old Europe.” I have referred to it as the “new world” and the “old world.

Rumsfeld and fellow Neocons predicted most of this century’s shit-show in 1999, including 9/11 and the “war in Iraq”: the 21st century will be the “New American Century.” Now the U.S. has occupied most of the “non-socialist societies” via 900 Military bases, justified by 9/11.

You might imagine Washington, DC as being the “third Rome.” In the end, the Roman Empire extended to London in Britain, which eventually became the second empire. After WWII, the British Empire became the American Empire.

DC even has a Capitoline Hill. Capitol Hill is named explicitly for its Roman forebear. The view to the west takes in a vast expanse of classical porticoes and marble monuments —gilded chariots and curtained litters would not seem out of place against this backdrop.

To quote Mike Jones, “what this means is we’re really no longer citizens of a republic but subjects of an empire.”

When you have properly digested that America is being run like an empire, everything that is going on today in the U.S. makes perfect sense.

To quote Mike Jones in his article below, “At least since the end of the Cold War (you could argue since the end of WWII) the U.S. has been an empire with economic tentacles spread around the world that are defended by the world’s largest military and governed by an elected executive who is more emperor than president.”

When we speak of the American Empire, we ought to focus on substance, and not on form. Because a standard form has been accepted by professionals in the area of international relations. While it may seem odd to some that I speak of it in a personal way, I have introduced a new postulate.

Understanding how oppression affects us, how oppression can escalate with other factors to lead to mass atrocities such as genocide, and what duties we have to prevent the occurrence of oppression and genocide, enables us to think and act accordingly.

Because genocide is the end game for the imperialists.

We need to be speaking more personally about oppression in America. The substance is that in 1965 imperialist power became apparent as increased outbursts of activism among blacks, students, and women took shape at home while struggles against American deployments of military force erupted overseas.

American politics, in the decades between the end of WWII and the mid-1970s, broadly aligned the interests of empire with those of the American people, if for no other reason than the rich realized they needed millions of poor and middle class youth to fight their wars.

Activists saw the divergence of interests between empire and class and race within America. And the Pentagon Papers released in 1971 by “whistleblower” Daniel Ellsberg brought to light the true views of the guardians of empire toward this divide.

Though not fully apparent at the time, these social movements were red flags that imperialist forces were very busy at work in Washington, DC. Simply look at the plight of blacks in America. It runs parallel to trajectory of American imperialism.

If history has taught me anything about imperialism, it is that you honestly don't see much of an effect unless the empire targets you personally. Like 80% of the people in an evil empire are actually good, viewing themselves as bringing order to chaos, and supplying education, medical care, and jobs to everybody, and, of course, protection from lawlessness.

To again quote Mike Jones, “The domestic agenda of an empire is maintaining order, not promoting the general welfare of citizens.”

Mike Jones clearly understands this part quite well. Together, we have uncovered even more of the hidden American Empire.

What might help to address racism in America is admitting what drives it: American imperialism. The U.S. has been functioning as an empire since 1945.



The American Empire and African Americans


By Mike Jones
January 16, 2020

Mike Jones of the St. Louis American © St. Louis American Mike Jones of the St. Louis American © St. Louis American
What happens in the world has as much impact on African Americans as everyone else, yet there has always been an African-American school of thought that says foreign affairs is white folks’ business and we put our agenda at risk when we engage on that issue. Nothing could be more wrong.

The Civil Rights Movement coincided with the height of the Cold War, when the United States was competing with the Soviet Union for influence with the emerging nations of color in Africa and Asia. The American South had the same apartheid system as South Africa, so the U.S. couldn’t successfully contend with the Soviet Union with its own officially sanctioned apartheid system (Jim Crow). The U.S. abandoned Southern segregationists to protect the influence of an emerging American Empire, not to defend or promote our constitutional rights. You can’t discount the Cold War as a major factor in the early success of the Civil Rights Movement.

Mark Twain said it’s not what you don’t know that hurts you, but what you know for sure that isn’t true. John F. Kennedy put it more eloquently in his 1962 Yale commencement speech: “For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.” It is the myth of America that we teach as historical truth that makes Americans (black and white) so ignorant the role of the U.S. in the world and how that role has changed what it means to be an American citizen.

Hegemony is the political, economic, or military predominance or control of one state over others. The dominant state is known as the hegemon. This is what the U.S. is, a hegemon. The world knows this; it is average Americans who don’t understand what America is in the world.

At least since the end of the Cold War (you could argue since the end of WWII) the U.S. has been an empire with economic tentacles spread around the world that are defended by the world’s largest military and governed by an elected executive who is more emperor than president.

That empire has a governing ideology of globalized neoliberalism, which means a commitment to wealth creation for ruling elites by means of unrestrained corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale with the unrestricted movement of capital, goods, ideas and people. What this means is we’re really no longer citizens of a republic but subjects of an empire.

The political calculus of a democratic republic is totally different than that of an empire. In a republic, a president’s first duty is to the citizens, the national legislative body (the Congress) represents the collective interests and will of the citizens, and the administration is designed to serve the needs of the citizens. Other than national defense, there is no specific foreign agenda.

In an empire, the emperor’s duty on is to defend and promote the foreign economic and political interests of the empire. The national legislature of an empire’s only role is to support and approve the edicts and whims of the emperor. The role of the military is not national defense but protecting foreign economic interests and political control of foreign countries. The domestic agenda of an empire is maintaining order, not promoting the general welfare of citizens.

If any of this sounds familiar, it should because this is the behavior of Donald Trump and Republicans. Trump and Republicans may be racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic, but they clearly understand who they are and what they want. They want a global empire ruled by white Americans. Their behavior may be hateful and immoral, but it is rational.

It’s the Democrats whose political behavior is irrational. Believing the myth of the American Republic, Democratic political tactics and strategy always miss the mark because none of that works in the reality of the American Empire.

As anyone who has ever seen a Star Wars movie knows, there are only two possibilities when you live in an empire: you support the empire or you join the rebellion.

 


Source: St. Louis American

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